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Dear Dr. P

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Dear Dr. P.  My boyfriend is a senior and I am a freshman.  We’ve been dating for about five or six months (which is the longest relationship I’ve ever been in by the way) and we love each other a lot, but I can’t help worrying about what will happen to our relationship when he graduates.  What’s the likelihood of our staying together?  Wondering and worrying.

Dear W & W:  Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Get ready to be left behind.  I say this because the usual variables that determine whether you are to remain together you have not mentioned.

Have you talked about his plans after graduation?  Is he staying locally or will he move to a distant location? If the former, then there is a chance that you might stay together.  If he moves away either for a job or to a graduate school program the chances of your breaking-up is very high.  If you have not yet discussed these rapidly approaching future events, why have you not?  The silence says a lot.  There is no intention of commitment on your SOs part and you are both just avoiding the likelihood of the pending hurt.

I doubt that you have spoken of your willingness to move with him. Don’t do it.   Most likely you will stay in school at RC.  You will then be in the summer and fall of this year a little older and a lot wiser.

The erotic romantic relationship you now enjoy “we love each other a lot” is not by itself sufficient to keep you together.  You apparently have not discussed or made plans for the immediate or distant future of your relationship.

He should have been kinder to you.  He knew that you were a freshman and he was a senior.  This is a common exploitative relationship wherein the senior males return in the fall anxious to scope out the entering freshmen women.  The senior men can foresee moving away and leaving their younger lovers behind.  He may be a user and not a nice guy.  If he was serious about this relationship he would already (it is March) have spoken to you about events in May and his future plans.  But, you mention nothing.

In the next few weeks I predict you will have a “We have to talk” meeting in which you will be let down and left.  Don’t let this harm your academics.  Get on-campus counseling immediately if you need it.

I hope the relationship was great while it lasted.  Unless you both were attempting to keep the relationship as between F-Buddies or as “no strings attached, you will be hurt, but you will learn an excellent lesson.

Don’t get deeply involved with someone unless you can predict a mutual future in the developing relationship. Love alone will not do this.  There has to be substance and not only fictive romance. There must be common interests and life goals.  Become best friends.   Be able to anticipate the hurdles and hassles of life  that you both can work through with planning and commitment.  This is what makes a long term, or lifetime, relationship possible.

You may be pleasantly surprised and the worst may not happen, but prepare to be dumped.

Commencemently yours, Dr. P